Regenerative forestry management model by Metsä Group used by half of wood trades from February to April 2024

The Metsä Group Plus forest management model pays increasingly close attention to forest biodiversity and forest nature in the implementation of forest work

Metsä Group’s campaign of regenerative forestry principles from February-April 2024 has reportedly received praises from Finnish forest owners, who are said to welcome the measures.

Of wood trades completed in that period, approximately 40% were agreed in accordance with the Metsä Group Plus management model. In terms of cubic volume of wood trades, the share was over 50% during the campaign.

Metsä Group’s parent company Metsäliitto Cooperative is owned by more than 90,000 Finnish forest-owners, who own around half of Finland’s private forests. The measures they carry out jointly with forest-owners strive to improve the natural state of forests.

The Metsä Group Plus forest management model pays increasingly close attention to forest biodiversity and forest nature in the implementation of forest work. The model includes measures that improve the state of forest nature and are more comprehensive than current established practices and certificate requirements.

Under the model, more retention trees are left and more high biodiversity stumps are made per hectare of forest during felling. In valuable habitats and littoral forests, the model represents the highest level of requirements currently in use.

The Metsä Group Plus model also enables the increased burning of retention trees to safeguard the living conditions of species that inhabit burned environments.

“The biodiversity of Finnish forests must be improved to ensure we cope in the changing future climate. The Metsä Group Plus management model combines practical measures to achieve these goals. We are very happy that the model has been welcomed so positively,” said Juha Jumppanen, executive vice-president, Metsä Forest.

“Compared to estate- or owner-specific agreements, the per-trade model lowers the threshold for committing to effectively improving the state of nature. It generates a greater overall impact across Finland.”

Metsä Group pays an additional trade-specific bonus per hectare for regeneration felling carried out according to the Metsä Group Plus model. The additional bonus compensates the owner-members for measures that take biodiversity into account beyond current practices. During the campaign of the early part of this year, an additional bonus was also paid for thinning.

“We recommend the wide-scale adoption of Metsä Group Plus model. It’s already a significant approach across Finland, and I believe the model will continue to gain in popularity,” Jumppanen said.

Metsä Group is implementing its regenerative forestry principles by saving rare deciduous trees in harvesting, carrying out management measures in herb-rich forests, making high biodiversity stumps and protective thickets, regenerating forests through mixed cultivation, ensuring the use of appropriate forestry methods in peatland forests, and using more environmentally friendly chemicals in harvesting.

The measurement of impacts is an important element of the regenerative forestry principles, and new practices are being developed for it. Metsä Group is also continuing to develop new measures implementing regenerative forestry.